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How to Do Research

A general process for doing research at the college level.

Step 2

Start Research

Come to the library. Doooo eeeet. Get familiar with databases that cover your main subject of interest.

  • Talking about Lexington and Concord? Best get a U.S. history database.
  • Looking for videos? Check out Films on Demand.
  • Need a good place to start? Try Discovery.

Take your topic ideas and start plugging them into a database—NOT Google. See which topics work and which don’t. Take the ones that work and use them to find the actual database Subject Terms. These are terms the database recognizes and will use to find all of the articles with those same subjects.

Also, don’t forget about books! They’re still relevant, even in today’s world. Discovery automatically searches for books and journal articles, making it a great place to find the resources to fit your various topics.

Need help with research methods and search strategies? Take a look at our subject guides and how-to’s.